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New school lunch rules aimed at reducing obesity
The New York Times
Hoping to combat the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, the Obama administration on Wednesday announced its long-awaited changes to government-subsidized school meals, a final round of rules that adds more fruits and green vegetables to breakfasts and lunches and reduces the amount of salt and fat.

Related articles:
  • First lady unveils tougher nutrition standards for school meals (The Hill)
  • Less meat and potatoes in school meals rankle industry groups (Bloomberg)
  • Lawmakers, industry decry 'backdoor approach' to limiting potatoes in schools (Bangor Daily News)

    Editor's note: The American Frozen Food Institute is cited by The New York Times, The Hill and Bloomberg, applauding USDA's new school meal standards.
  • More

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    Administration not confirming food safety consolidation
    Food Safety News
    The Obama administration "is not confirming food safety consolidation," the subscription news service The Hagstrom Report now says. More
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    Vilsack: More job reductions, realignments possible at USDA
    meatingplace
    As USDA's Blueprint for Stronger Service is rolled out during the coming year, it may mean "additional early retirement opportunities based on workforce alignment" and "additional restructuring of organizational charts" internally, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. More
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    Confident Obama struts his stuff
    The Hill
    A relaxed, confident Barack Obama hit a pitch-perfect high note last week at the famed Apollo Theater in New York, singing a phrase from Al Green's hit "Let's Stay Together" and showing the world just how comfortable — if not sanguine — he is heading into the election year. More
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    Obama team sees Romney damaging self with independents
    The Washington Post
    President Barack Obama's political advisers have been preparing for a contest against Republican Mitt Romney. What they have seen of the former Massachusetts governor in the past 30 days makes them think he will enter a fall campaign, if he survives a turbulent nomination battle, significantly weakened by self-inflicted wounds and a major strategic mistake. More
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    Polls: Newt Gingrich's surge ending
    The Washington Post
    A new CNN/Time/Opinion Research poll in Florida shows Mitt Romney claiming a small lead in Tuesday's primary, and the latest Gallup tracking poll, which has showed Newt Gingrich surging for more than a week, finally shows him leveling off. More
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    Drudge, conservative media criticize Newt Gingrich
    POLITICO
    Newt Gingrich better hope voters who lapped up his delicious hits on the "elite media" and liberals don't read the Drudge Report. Or the National Review. Or the American Spectator. Or Ann Coulter. More
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    USDA: Revising food packaging standards will reflect industry
    Food Production Daily
    USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service has proposed revising U.S. food container inspection laws, with the aim of bringing the regulation in line with 21st-century food packaging technology. More
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    British PM backs Europe free trade deal with US
    The Associated Press via CBS MoneyWatch
    British Prime Minister David Cameron has backed the idea of a free trade deal between the European Union and the U.S., claiming a trans-Atlantic pact could deliver a much-needed boost to global commerce.

    Related article:
  • Cameron: EU transaction tax idea 'madness' (Sky News)
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    Organic 101: What's allowed, what's prohibited
    USDA Blog
    When it comes to organic foods, it's just as important to know what isn't allowed as what is. USDA is offering a series to explain the different rules within organic regulations. More
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    Raw food for ready-to-eat items excluded from Salmonella tests
    USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
    The Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a reminder to inspection personnel advising them of the narrow circumstances in which Salmonella test samples are not warranted: in cases where all products are processed into ready-to-eat form or where all raw products are sent to another federally inspected facility to be processed into RTE form. More
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    Current dietary habits could exceed cadmium intake guide
    European Food Safety Authority
    Based on a review of current European dietary habits, children and adults could exceed the level of cadmium considered safe in humans, with potatoes and bread contributing the most exposure. More
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    EFSA publishes guides for risk assessment of animal welfare
    European Food Safety Authority
    The European Food Safety Authority has published pioneering guidelines laying out, for the first time, a standardized methodology for the risk assessment of animal welfare. Additionally, EFSA has issued guidance for the risk assessment of food and feed derived from genetically modified animals and related animal welfare issues. More
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    Attorney: Expect 'considerable growing pains' with FSMA
    Food Navigator-USA
    While the Food Safety Modernization Act undoubtedly will "raise the floor" and increase confidence in the U.S. food supply, experts are predicting "considerable growing pains" as the industry comes to grips with the new legislation. More
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    School cafeteria supplier was warned of losing contract
    The Washington Post
    A cafeteria contractor has delivered spoiled foods to several Washington, D.C., public schools, failed to train its staff properly and distributed some meals without milk and fruit, school officials say. More
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    Bill Gates pushes 'green revolution' for small farms in developing nations
    The Washington Post
    After years that have seen riots because of rice shortages in Asia and record low world reserves of staple crops such as wheat, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates argues there is a simple solution: Grow more food. More
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    Schumer seeks USDA funds for proposed New York food plant
    The Daily News
    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide several hundred thousand dollars in federal funds for sewer and water infrastructure work to prepare western New York's Genesee County to host a massive food processing plant. More
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    Hospital finds color codes in cafeteria lead to better eating
    Fierce Healthcare
    Massachusetts General Hospital is applying a color-coding approach that has encouraged healthier eating in the cafeteria, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health. More
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    Smart Lunches™ acquired by online commerce expert
    Marketwire via MarketWatch
    Smart Lunches™, a Boston-based business that allows parents to order school lunches online for delivery to their children's school, has been acquired by Shoebuy.com founder and former CEO Scott Savitz, who immediately announced plans to expand. More
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    Truck Tonnage Index shows largest jump since 1998
    Refrigerated Transporter
    In 2011, trucking tonnage rose 5.9 percent over the previous year — the largest annual increase since 1998, according to the American Trucking Association. More
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    Building labor-saving food service equipment into designs
    Foodservice Equipment & Supplies
    Saving on labor costs can be a matter of properly applying food service equipment and training. More
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    HyperSolar: Renewable hydrogen fuel with sun, wastewater
    Truckinginfo
    HyperSolar Inc. has reported that its proprietary process can produce zero-carbon, renewable hydrogen gas using the power of the sun and wastewater. More
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    Russian retailer eyes 400 stores, $1 billion with Florida chain
    Supermarket News
    A Russia-based retailer backed by Dutch investors is seeking to build a chain of small retail food stores in south Florida, with plans to have 400 stores and $1 billion in sales within four years. More
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    Frozen Express
    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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